University of Tampa gets new smoking policy - WFLA News Channel 8

University of Tampa gets new smoking policy

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

If you're a smoker on the University of Tampa campus you better watch where you light up. A new smoking policy starts this school year.

"We want everyone to have a healthy safe place they can learn and study," Laura Manke, UT student and Public Health major, said.

Manke, along with other students, formed the group Breath-Easy UT. They spent months campaigning to get a chance. After educating students and staff, talking to administrators, and starting up a petition, the school is virtually going smoke free.

There are now only four areas on the UT campus for smokers. Those sections have umbrellas, tables, and trash cans.

Students like Katie Cruse are happy about it.

"I appreciate that because I don't like smoking at all," Cruse said.

Breath-Easy offers smoking cessation classes and educational tools to help people quit.

"It just got to the point where it was becoming a problem," Manke said. "People would walk to class and someone was smoking or people were standing right outside the mail room right outside the library. Now smokers have an area."

UT isn't alone. According to The American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation 11 college campuses in Florida are now smoke free. That includes the University of Florida and Hillsborough Community College. Other 5 campuses in Florida have smoking zones. USF is on that list.

Manke says the group has a "mutual respect" policy.

"If you're smoking in the non-smoking area we'll give you a coupon for a free drink in the cafeteria, and ask you to move."

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